Lucky Dog (22)

Dreaming, Geoff ran through the expected showdown with Shellen. He was speaking them, but he could not understand his own words. The tone of voice was obviously defiant. Then Shellen replied in loud, manly gobbledygook as well—he evidently spoke nobly, with emphasis, but again Geoff could not make out a single word.

Then the Dream Shellen stopped speaking and glared at Geoff like a noble chieftain, like one of the savages he had just seen in the movie on TV. Geoff was at a loss for words, but the cartoon puppy on his chest began to stage-whisper instructions to him. At this point, Geoff suspected he might be dreaming.

A loud shout caught his attention, and he looked up and saw the Belgian boy wrestler, Hubert, in the flimsiest excuse for body covering Geoff had ever seen on a man. The boy’s arm and leg muscles undulated, as if they were constrictors swallowing small dogs whole. They stood in a ring surrounded by bright lights, facing off.

The blond boy wrestler’s well-oiled body glistened in transcendent light. Like an angel. Never in his life had Geoff seen anything so beautiful, he thought.

The brightness of the boy’s body seemed to have its own sort of gravity, as Geoff felt himself being pulled towards it.

Soon the brightness overtook the boy, and the outline of his ideal physique faded in the overwhelming glow.

In a flash, Geoff realized he was naked, covered head to toe with swarming ants.

Another loud noise—a crashing sound—woke Geoff up. His eyes opened to a bright colorless sky. He pulled himself up to his feet. The skin on his face tingled. It felt stiff and sore. He crept gingerly back into the bungalow through the back door.

“What the fuck!” It was Shellen’s all-too-clear voice, shouting. The voice was choking with emotion. He heard another, lower voice mumbling something, too low for Shellen to understand the words.

He half-sleepwalked to the bedroom doorway. He prepared himself to say something like “So we meet at last face to face” or “I have a bone to pick with you, Bud Shellen.” But when he got to the bedroom, he just stood there.

Shellen was bent down over the kid, but hearing Geoff’s foot bump against the base of the door, he swerved and jumped to his feet. Geoff braced himself to speak first, to throw down a challenge, but he didn’t get the chance. In less than a second, Shellen tackled him, leapt on him with all his weight, and started bashing his face in with both fists.

(To be continued)


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